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The number of new cargo airlines that seem to be launching is nothing short of amazing. Along with another European start-up, apparently leasing three rather elderly A300-600Fs from China Aircraft Leasing Co (CALC), comes the news that a Las Vegas hopeful is firing up, incorporated in February as Skybus Jet Cargo.

While the CALC A300s are from 1989, and have been operated since then by China Eastern Airlines, Skybus Jet Cargo is going further back in history, and, according to a two-line media report, has taken on two DC-8s from Astar Air Cargo. The first of these aircraft was initially delivered in 1968 to Flying Tiger Line, while the second, a 1970 model, first flew for Trans International Airlines. Both aircraft are stored in the desert, with one seen in Victorville in March, in Astar’s livery. The other has been stored at Kingman since June last year.

There seems to be something of a start-up merry-go-round beginning, with old capacity brought back to life by companies who are finding low barriers to entry. Can they survive? Judging by the list of now defunct airlines that had operated the DC-8s, it is hard not to be a little pessimistic.

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  • Neil

    June 01, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    That is brave stuff. Interesting, good luck to them!

  • Hugh Sutherland

    June 04, 2013 at 12:37 am

    DC-8s? Is this a misprint? Obviously not, but can the economy in ownership and insurance off-set the fuel bill? Obviously airworthiness is taken for granted but how safe are these aircraft for everyday cargo service? Mind you, they should also appeal to crew who want to clock up flying time.

  • Michael B

    August 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    The DC-8 is a workhorse. There are operational advanatages to using this aircraft as well as detriments. Being a 4 engine aircraft, you do not have to worry about ETOPS issues…but you have to deal with fuel burn for 4 engines. The aircraft that they are working with are the DC-8-73 versions, so they have the stronger floor to carry the heavier items, again which means a heavier aircraft and higher fuel burn. But the cost of acquisition for these aircraft should be smaller compared to other aircraft out there.
    Will be nice to see these aircraft back in operatoin.


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